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Report: Session 2. 1115 Extreme event studies John McBride 1130 Climate change and fire weather Kevin Hennessy 1145 Seasonal Prediction Chris Lucas. McBride:Extreme event studies.

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Report session 2
Report: Session 2

  • 1115 Extreme event studies John McBride

  • 1130 Climate change and fire weather Kevin Hennessy

  • 1145 Seasonal Prediction Chris Lucas

Mcbride extreme event studies
McBride:Extreme event studies

  • Main point: Case studies are the major mechanism for studying processes, learning what the unknowns are, for input to forecast algorithm development and to direct climate-change research


    Reeder supported the idea through getting excited at what he had learned from his studies of Black Saturday

    Puri made the point that the model developers, the radar people, the seasonal prediction group etc are doing case studies anyway. McBride answer: sure, but they need to have the case studies, process studies and publication built in as an integral part of their workplan.

    Rapporteur assessment: Capability to carry out this basic phenomological research on extreme fire weather events and seasons resides only in our meteorological community (CAWCR, Monash, Melb Uni). It is incumbent on us to develop and maintain this capability.

Climate change and fire weather kevin hennessy
Climate change and fire weather Kevin Hennessy

  • Main point: Enormous pressure from stakeholders to give quantitative projections for number of fire events, severity, length of season etc. Described some basic research already done by CAWCR group on projections of fire behaviour

  • Questions/Discussion

    • Reeder. Climate projections of actual fire occurrence will require projections of fuel

    • Puri: Methodology should have verification of projection skill for recent events, using projections from a decade earlier

    • Mills: questioned downscaling methodology, as compared to use of high resolution climate models

    • Rapporteur Assessment: The large number of interjections and questions on the methodology is a statement that we require Climate Change scientists doing this work: The alternative is we put the projections online on the web, and have scientists who are not familiar with climate science simply plugging the future climate temperature, wind, humidity fields into their fire-behaviour models.

Seasonal prediction chris lucas
Seasonal Prediction Chris Lucas

  • Main point: Described current seasonal fire season forecast process – Not strongly supported financially but a basic service that is in demand. Needs: Monitoring of current climate FFDI etc; Objective forecasts – either statistical or dynamical - question on the dynamical models.

  • Discussion/questions:

    • Wheeler: Question of verification of seasonal forecasts of fire behaviour

    • Chechet: To emergency managers fire is a fuel problem – need to monitor and forecast fuel

    • Meyers: Across Northern Australia there is a huge interannual variability in fire occurrence – basic data set for verification

    • May: Given role of soil dryness, availability of fuel, curing etc – need is for a earth systems modelling approach to seasonal forecast

    • General theme from this and the previous talk – Organising the data is a major issue: we have the meteorological data under control. It comes across we do not have ready access, a good archive real-time and historic data on the fuel, the vegetation, the location of current fires etc.

    • Rapporteur Assessment: Clear and obvious need to further develop our 2-week to seasonal fire weather forecasting capability. This will require a strong interaction with community who hold tth fuel, curing vegetation etc data